This OS is part of China's five-year plan bring open source software to as many of their citizens they can, and the first version of Kylin will be designated for desktop computers and laptops, but they are already considered (perhaps designing) mobile version. Given that there is full support for Chinese characters sets, China believes it will allow for much greater interaction with Chinese computers, subject to Chinese conventions.
Future versions will have the tools that will allow the use of popular web services like Baidu site, Taobao shopping, as well as various versions of the Office applications and software for processing video and photos directly from the home screen. The code is created in the Beijing lab and engineers from Canonical worked on it together with their colleagues from several Chinese R&D (research and development) agencies.
This move outside of China is interpreted as an attempt that the most populated country in the world, which is still under Communist rule, separate its own IT sector from the Western software, making it more available for developers of domestic alternatives.
The first version of Kylin was issued back in 2007 by the Chinese army as a "safe" operating system for government agencies, and earlier this year, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has signed an agreement with Canonical for making civilian versions based on Ubuntu OS.
This will certainly be a great move from Canonical as they could make huge money out of it and if the OS expands in China as planned, when a Linux distribution gets about half a billion users, it’s really going to change the balance of power in the global operating system market. Great point for the open source community, although we can’t really call China "the land of open source."
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